Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Overkill vs. Lesson Learned

Just Kidding...
What do you think?  Is this a prime example of "overkill" or a valuable "lesson learned" for one little girl and her mother?  It seems that local cops, at the request of the little girl's library, showed up at her front door and left with the overdue library book her parents had checked out for her.

Of course, there's more to the story, some of it involving a misunderstanding as to just what book the police were actually asked to retrieve, but this Daily News article clears everything up (well, mostly):
Shannon Benoit told CBS Boston that little Hailey, 5, was worried she was going to be cuffed and arrested when Sgt. Dan Dowd arrived at their door in Charlton Dec. 27 asking for the book.
With the cops standing at the door, the family searched the house and found the text, and returned it to Dowd, according to the report.
But when he left, Hailey began to cry.
"I thought it was way overboard," Shannon Benoit told the TV station.
Read the article for the rest of the details (and to find out what the cops were really asked to retrieve) - including the fact that the child's mother apparently embarrassed herself during her phone call to the library by using some inappropriate language.  I feel sorry for the little girl, naturally, but maybe her parents should explain to her that it's not cool to ignore due dates and requests to return overdue materials to the library - or to curse at some librarian on the phone when you get caught doing it.

I'm on the library's side on this one.  I suspect that's the minority opinion, however, because cute kids win every time.


  1. Wow. From the sounds of things, the child wasn't even directly involved in all of this and never even needed to be mentioned...but she was, probably because the mother knew that she'd have people on her side if she mentioned that the incident left her girl in tears. Either that, or some reporter somewhere messed up and didn't get all of their details straight. Unfortunately, it's the library that's left looking bad and having to do damage control.

  2. Ugh. I should know better than to read the comments on these kinds of articles, and yet I still do. It looks like several commenters stopped reading after the first few paragraphs, or maybe even after reading the headline.

  3. we're fortunate to have free lending libraries. I know, I know, they're supported by our tax dollars but that doesn't give anyone the right to abuse the terms & conditions. Good grief - return what you've borrowed - and do it on time!

  4. Library Girl, I think the mother overreacted when she couldn't find her husband's audio book, the result being a desperate search to return "something" to the police. If her daughter was traumatized by this, it is because her mother scared her to death, not the cops.

    Yeah, reading comments to a newspaper article is not always good for you. The crazies, morons, and screamers seem to overrepresent the rest of the population there...and, you're right, some people either can't read or they are too lazy to read more than the headline and first paragraph of an article.

  5. I hear you, Debbie. Nothing irritates me more than having someone abuse the lending period for items that are on hold by a few dozen other patrons. People who can't be bothered to return things on time, or at all, should pay a heftier fine than they generally pay.